First off, let me say I'm a newbie to the forum. I picked up my amnps and some Traeger Apple pellets from the internet and have been trying them out for burn time and heat generation. I've had some pork curing for some Buckboard Bacon the last couple of weeks and plan on starting them in my home built cold smoker in a few days. I'll post pics for feedback as I progress.
For my hot smoking I use a simple Chargriller Duo with a side firebox. I've gotten into making sausage as well and wanted to cold smoke some andouille and chorizo this past spring so I built a cold smoker. Essentially it's 2ft square, about 4ft high, and is on casters. I first attempted to use a hotplate and skillet with chips in the bottom of it, but was not happy. One, the temperature was too high, and two, the smoke was too acrid. Smelled like I was burning lumber while trying to cut it with a dull circular saw. I solved this by firing up my hot smoker and running a duct from the chimney on that to a hole near the bottom of the new contraption. Fabricated a simple fan from an old laptop cooling unit that I placed inside the cold smoker right next to new hole I cut. This allowed me to draw the smoke through the 10 foot tube and into the unit. Worked like a charm. Since I had decided to use the hot smoker to generate my smoke, I decided to take advantage of that and threw a couple of shoulders on as well. For the hot smoker, I use charcoal and soaked hickory chunks.
Ok, with all of that out of the way, here's what I'm doing now. As I mentioned earlier, I got the AMNPS and some Traeger pellets in the mail this week. I had read in some posts that the long pellets didn't work quite as well in the AMNPS. Not knowing what "long" meant I decided to load it with the pellets straight out of the bag to see how well it worked. Didn't "turn the corner well". I spent several hours breaking the long pieces down to be no longer than 1/2" and have it fired up again now.
It's currently Wednesday morning, I'll be taking the pork out of the cure to rinse, truss, and dry tomorrow. Placing it in the cold smoker either Thursday night or early Friday morning, depending on pellicle formation after I start it drying. Not having used the AMNPS, or any other method for smoking bacon for that matter, any suggestions on length of time for the smoking? Should I light both ends of the smoker for greater smoke generation? I am also planning on placing some cheese on racks below the hanging bacon, Why let all that space go to waste, right?